J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Kirkstall Abbey from the River Aire 1808

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 2 Recto:
Kirkstall Abbey from the River Aire 1808
Turner Bequest CVII 2
Pencil on white wove paper, 109 x 186 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘2’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CVII 2’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The view is from south-south-east of the abbey, near the weir across the Aire. A similar drawing, taken from slightly closer, runs across the verso and folio 3 (D07259–D07260). This was a favourite view for Turner since he first drew it in 1797 in his North of England sketchbook (Tate D00922; Turner Bequest XXXIV 16) and used it for a watercolour for Edward Lascelles (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge).1 He drew it again in 1809, while staying at Farnley Hall, in the Kirkstall Lock sketchbook (Tate D12255; Turner Bequest CLV 14) and circa 1823 in the Brighton and Arundel sketchbook (Tate D18390; Turner Bequest CCX 48). His final treatment was the watercolour made circa 1824 for engraving in The Rivers of England (Tate D18146; Turner Bequest CCVIII M). Hill sees this subject as having become ‘something of a touchstone for him’.2

David Blayney Brown
October 2010

Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.324 no.224.
Hill 2008, p.169.

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Kirkstall Abbey from the River Aire 1808 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, October 2010, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-kirkstall-abbey-from-the-river-aire-r1135918, accessed 20 June 2024.